US President Donald Trump praised the size of a crowd gathered to see him during a visit to Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday (29 August) after the deadly Tropical Storm Harvey that left at least 30 people dead. Twitter immediately slammed the president over his "lack of empathy" and accused him of treating the natural disaster like "another reality TV episode".
"What a crowd, what a turnout," Trump said into the microphone, addressing a gathering of hundreds of people hit by the devastating storm outside a fire station.
"Thank you everybody," Trump said. "We love you, you are special, we are here to take care of you. It's going well. "
"This has been a total cooperative effort," he continued to cheers. "It's historic, it's epic, what happened. But you know what, it happened in Texas and Texas can handle anything."
Trump then grabbed and unfurled a lone star Texas flag to cheers, and some jeers, from the crowd.
This week, Trump and first lady Melania Trump are visiting parts of Texas to survey damage caused by the storm that began as a Category 4 hurricane before it was downgraded to a tropical storm. The storm brought record-shattering rains causing catastrophic flooding and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate their homes.
Social media users immediately and furiously ripped Trump apart over his remarks to victims of the natural disaster.
"The Trump administration is such an on-the-nose parable about greed and narcissism that it no longer feels real," writer Kaleb Horton tweeted.
"People are trapped and dying and he is concerned about crowd size," one Twitter user wrote while another added: "What a Jackass! Turnout? We lost our homes and have nowhere to go."
"Find one day when he has not been grotesque. One," one person said.